Saturday, March 22, 2014

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Below, news and notes for Saturday...
  • The Only Colors writes that Harvard is seeking "to be the first Ivy League team to make it to the Sweet Sixteen since Cornell four years ago, but [Tommy] Amaker's old nemesis Tom Izzo is blocking the way."

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- On Thursday night here, big man Jeff Foote did something that fans of the NCAA tournament will be familiar with—he dominated, scoring 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting, with 21 rebounds and two blocks.
Only now, Foote suits up for the Springfield Armor of the D-League. But four years ago, he was the centerpiece of a Cornell team that shocked the sports world by becoming the first Ivy League team since Penn in 1979 to reach the Sweet 16.
As No. 12 Harvard, which upset Cincinnati in its first game on Thursday, attempts to duplicate the feat, it is helpful to remember that Cornell was making its third consecutive NCAA appearance, just as the Crimson are doing. Foote recalls the advantage that provided.
“It was just a lot of fun,” Foote said. “It was our third time being there, so the luster, the nerves, the hype of it was lost to us. We were just ready to come in and play basketball. We were kind of a goofy team, so we just had fun with it our way. Being the first Ivy League team in like 20 years to go to the Sweet 16 was kind of special.”
As his post-Cornell career has gone on—he has played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, as well as Zalgiris in Lithuania—Foote says the thrill of that tournament run has faded somewhat. He is still trying to get to the NBA, where he had a brief appearance with New Orleans in 2012. In the meantime, he is averaging 9.0 points and 8.0 rebounds for Springfield, including 16.4 points and 15.0 rebounds in his last five games.
He still keeps in close contact with his old Big Red teammates, Foote said. In fact, there is a chance we will see them together again—they’re attempting to reunite for the $500,000 prize in what is known as The Basketball Tournament, a recently formed tournament that will be driven by social media and televised. (Foote’s Cornell bunch can be supported here.)
“We still talk, even now, everyone on that Cornell team was very close,” Foote said. “We still talk everyday. We are trying to get together and get into The Basketball Tournament. We are pushing to get into it, so it has been a little more special this year, thinking about getting all back together and entering a tournament as a team again. But for us, this time of year, March, it is always a crazy time, a fun time.”


Anonymous said...

That Charleston Classic will be 3 losses guaranteed, why would they bother inviting us, 2-26????

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Harvard. They played their hearts out tonight.

CBB: Curious to know what "change" you seek in Ithaca, as you said on Twitter. Might as well put the cards on the table at this point.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I don't have a specific "change" in mind. I just think that "no change" is a mistake.

Cornell has to take affirmative steps to improve.

For example, Bill might have to start at ground zero and bring in an entirely new offense and defense.

Anonymous said...

Its too late for Bill to start at ground zero, he needs to go

Anonymous said...

I spent a lot of time hoping Courtney would have a "coming to God" moment like Donahue had after being turned down for the Penn job.

But now I no longer believe Courtney can change. He sounds like the kind of person who believes his own deceptions, e.g. about his coaching know-how and strategy.

I believe he got the job because he said all the right things and said them in such an earnest, non-pretentious way. People with the ability to deceive others so thoroughly often do so because they themselves believe what they are saying.

I could no longer listen to Bill Courtney interviews sometime into his 3rd year, after I excitedly put down money for games when he was so convincing about how that was the no-more-excuses year with a lineup consisting of guys that had only played for him (except Peck) and swollen with talent like Miller, Cressler, Gray, Peck, Cancer etc, all healthy. When I tuned in to see a cupcake that was wayyy worse than the previous year, I simply could no longer listen to an interview with him.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to convince BC to "bring in an entirely new offense and defense"? Wrestling coach Andy Noel?

Also, shouldn't those Xs and Os issues have been vetted 4 years ago?

And how exactly is BC going to discover, learn and coach a new offense and defense to turn this around in 6 or 7 months?

If the head coach's offensive and defensive philosophies are the problem, then what does that say about the head coach who decided those philosophies were best?

And, if you need to start from "ground zero" and bring in a new offensive and defensive philosophies, is a head coach whose only proven ability is as a "recruiter" the right person for that transformation?

That comment is flat out delusional.

Cornell hired a recruiter with no proven in-game coaching ability and is paying the price. Cornell is a also a perfect example of how talent alone ain't enough.

Fortunately for Cressler, he figured it out in time to save two years of his college career.

Anonymous said...

Or Bill might need to bring in an entirely new coaching staff who know what they are doing

Anonymous said...

W should all start to send emails and make telephone calls to Andy, I did both. If he still does not even address the issues, my next step is to write and open letter to President Scorton and the alumni in a full add in the Ithaca newspaper

Anonymous said...

I'm baffled as to how people still say we have so much "talent." We haven't recruited better than the other Ivies, despite Bill's reputation as an elite recruiter. We've had a handful of good players, but not much worth bragging about other than Shonn and Nolan.

Anonymous said...

To: Anon 10:42

Can not figure out whether your Blind or Bias if the only players worth bragging about are Shonn or Nolan. Only four players in the Conference averaged over 12ppg, 3.5 assist/game and 4 rebounds per game and Cherry happened to be one of them. The other three happen to be All Ivy! Guess though Stats are not good enough for you to be proud of.

Hatter and Smith a pair of Freshman Guards contributing significantly winning multiple ROW awards not good enough for you to be Proud of!

Tarwater with his Scoring and rebounding and David O with his Rebounding and Blocking shots were not good enough for you to be proud of!

Matthews and Scelfo seniors facing adversity throughout their Basketball careers but staying loyal to the Program while contributing significantly when their opportunities came isn't something or someone you can be Proud of!

Maybe you need to suit up and handle what this team has over the last year and just maybe we could be proud of you.

Stay Strong BigRed even in the face of Nuts!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:56-
I love Your enthusiasm and Think the wOrld of this Team as inDividuals. But tHey collectively wenT 1-26 this year...

And please don't ever stop calling them "BigRed". It always lets me know it's You!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:56 PM:
Seriously? This team finished 2-26. It was one of the absolute worst teams in the country overall, and second worst in the country defensively. It wasn't all coaching, although that was certainly a big part of it.

Here's the problem: You are under the misguided impression that this team is overloaded with talent when that's simply not the case.

This is a program in serious trouble. After four years, Bill hasn't been able to find a point guard even though we're ostensibly running a dribble drive offense. If you don't see that, you're simply beyond help. You also clearly know nothing about basketball.

The ONLY player that would have found any meaningful time in, for example, Harvard's rotation is Nolan Cressler, and he's leaving the program. We have some players with "talent", but nowhere near enough to be a competitive Division 1 program (Exhibit A: the Oberlin game, where a short-handed D3 team played with our "talent" for most of the game).

Anonymous said...

To: Anon 4:32PM

I think its you who know nothing about Basketball! It was not the players that we do have but the Lack of an Inside Presence that we don't have which was a major factor in our 2-26 record.

Skilled offensive Bigs is what BigRed is lacking! We got plenty production out of are backcourt with or without Cressler the backcourt can outright score and rebound which was Cresslers strong suit. Investigate the numbers if you need the proof.

The only reason Cressler lead the team in Scoring is because he lead the team in Shots. As for him breaking the rotation at Harvard whose role was he to take. Chambers, Saunders, Rivard or the two point guard set that Harvard ran with Curry, Cressler does not take time from those. Chambers, Curry and Saunders assist the ball to go along with their points and rebounds and Rivard has been dropping threes at Harvard since Nolan was at Plum high school so I don't believe he gets his time. Please don't say he takes any Frontcourt time away from Harvards Bigs. The only Player who gets time on Harvards present team would be Shonn not Nolan!

With the return of Shonn this team gets much better with more defined roles which I wish Nolan would have been apart of, but he's not. Get over it and move on.

Point guard isn't are problem, we may not have Julian J but Cherry held his own at the point, Better than some who received Ivy Awards this past Season.

Oh, what a 6'10, 6'11 or 7 footer skilled at the offensive end with moderate defensive skills could do for this Program.
This is Basketball, nobody wins without the Big Man. Take Cedric K, Justin Sears or Alex Rosenberg away from their respective teams and see what you get.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the program is clearly in trouble, I do place the blame on Courtney more than talent.

Everyone has rewritten the story in hindsight that the class of 2010 was a recruiting coup. But if you looked at the recruiting profiles of the class of 2010, the group of kids Donahue left behind, and the kids Courtney has recruited, you would choose the latter two classes in a heartbeat.

CBB used to boast endlessly about how recruiting was improving based on other Division I offers, but once everything was a disaster under Bill Courtney he rewrote the story to claim recruiting took a nosedive after we had won two Ivy titles, as if that makes any sense.

I just don't understand how you all can choose to believe that we had five whole recruiting classes that only gave rise to 2 or 3 talented individuals. It seems to me that the far more rational conclusion is that we have a coach who does not develop talent and cannot coach.

Many students start out badly only to develop over time. Sometimes it's by the end of one year, sometime's it's as a junior or sophomore or even senior. We act like if a kid doesn't look all-Ivy from game 1 like Shonn or Nolan then he must be a bust. No, many kids start out like that and become better over time with training. But I don't see how anyone gets better with a nonsensical coach like Courtney.

I feel worse for these kids than I do for anyone.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 4:32

The went 1-26, their other victory was against a .500 Division III team. Division III.

Runningpie said...

Totally agree with Anon 2:56: I think it's important to deal in reality in order to initiate change. We suck. That is the bottom line. We suck on every level, including talent.

Devin is a good player, if used properly. The other sophs to be could be good players - if developed properly. But let us not trot out the list of hypotheticals in terms of all the big guys who are suddenly going to have healed knees and polished offensive games etc...

It's a bit of a balancing act because of course all of us want the best for the kids currently in the program and we all appreciate their hard work and dedication. The flip side is we have a historically horrible coach and the results to prove it.

We need change, and that is never a surgically clean process. I really hope Andy initiates it now, and we move on, rather than waiting an entire year, delaying the inevitable. Then the kids currently in the program can figure it out now, with the new staff, rather then treading water for a year.

Anonymous said...

The Cornell men's basketball team has just as many good players as all the other teams. These kids were all state and conference in the home states. Obviously the problem is not the player's. It is time for Courtney to man up and step down from the program before any other of the kids careers get ruined under his so called leadership.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: "The Cornell men's basketball team has just as many good players as all the other teams."

No, sorry, that's simply wrong. People: we barely beat Oberlin, a team that as many have pointed out would lose to a decent high school team.

If you can't execute an offensive scheme, even a bad one, against a terrible undersized and unathletic team, then you don't have enough talent.

If you go 1-26 in Division 1 games, then you don't have enough talent.

If you ranked second to last in the country on defense, you don't have enough talent.

There's accountability not just with the coaching staff (which clearly deserves blame), but with the players on the floor who execute.

No one is saying there's no talent on this team -- there is. And some kids (David and Robert, for example), hopefully have bright futures ahead of them. But to say that we have as much talent as the rest of the league, including Harvard and Princeton, after what we just saw this season, and after learning that Nolan is leaving the program, is simply wrong.

Anonymous said...

The kids barely beat Oberlin because of lack of coaching.
Look at the kids stat's for there home states and multiple scholarship offer's for each one.
I guess everyone has a opinion and some people would rather blame it on the kids other then lack of a good coach.
Courtney did a great job recruiting just not even a good job coaching.
Watching every game the announcer would say. If they guard the 3 point shot, then they should be able to win since Cornell's big's only average three points a game.
No inside game leaves the outside game eliminated.
The big's never got the ball all season. When they did, they scored!

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...


If you want to complain, you are free to do so here. But this is not the very best medium for it.

You should use your energy in a productive way and complain to Andy Noel, Cornell's Athletic Director, who makes the decisions, not The Cornell Basketball Blog.

Andy Noel's email:

Even if you choose to send anonymous emails from newly created email accounts, Andy will receive your grievance.

Complaining on this site, however, is not as an efficient use of your energy.

CBB fully supports Cornell Basketball, its staff and players.

But those "fans" that feel the need to complain and want responsive action, should do so through the official channels.